According to AAA, distracted driving is to blame for an increase in fatal car accidents in Georgia this year. A spokesperson for AAA said distracted driving is the cause of 79 percent of the more than 700 deaths in Georgia traffic accidents so far this year. Distracted driving is generally on the rise as smartphones become more common at every age level. Texting and talking on cell phones is a growing trend among drivers, despite legislation and safety campaigns designed to curb it.
Georgia's laws against texting behind the wheel are relatively strict. Violators are subjected to a $150 fine and have one point added to their licenses. Some states do not enforce points against the licenses of offenders. That said, enforcement of the texting ban is problematic. One law enforcement official reported that an officer would have to actually see the driver using the device to cite them for texting behind the wheel. The difficulty of enforcing the law likely contributes to the number of drivers willing to ignore it.
Dealing with distraction is part of safe driving. Before cell phones became so popular, drivers were still distracted by eating, fiddling with the radio, talking to passengers and countless other distractions. Cell phones have undoubtedly made the problem worse, however. Some have even suggested that cell phones are addictive and that users are virtually unable to put them down for any length of time. In the face of an addiction, it is clear that a difficult-to-enforce ban is unlikely to resolve the issue. The rising death toll has made it clear that something more is needed to stop people from using their phones while behind the wheel.
Source: wrbl.com, "AAA: Distracted driving behind death toll increase on GA roadways," by Brennan Reh, 11 August 2015